To call a French number from abroad, dial: + 33 + local number without the leading 0. For example: +33 587 396 974
All French numbers have 10 digits. The first two digits are:
- 01 for the Parisian region
- 02 for the Northwest
- 03 for the Northeast
- 04 for the Southeast
- 05 for the Southwest
- 06 for cellphones
- 07 for cellphones since 2010.
- 08 have special prices (from free of charge to very pricy – Skype numbers start with 08)
- 09 if they are attached to Voice over IP telephones connected to DSL modems from French DSL providers that integrate such functions.
You cannot drop the first two digits even if your call is within the same area. The initial ‘0’ may be replaced by some other digit or longer code indicating a choice of long-distance operator. Don’t use this unless told to.
Toll free numbers in France
There are some companies providing toll-free numbers (starting with 08 00). Many companies have numbers starting with 081 for which you have to pay a full cost of a local call regardless of your location. Numbers starting with 089 are overpriced. They provide service to some legitimate businesses.
Dial-around services are available from any landline in France. You don’t need contract or any registration for this. Most dial-around services allow you to call USA, Canada, Western Europe and many other countries at local rate. They also work from payphones but the first minute is surcharged by France Telecom.
In train stations, bus stops or subway stations telephone booths are available. Every village in France has at least one booth. Most of them use coins or credit cards.
There are 4 main networks in France: Orange, SFR, Bouygues Télecom and Free Mobile. France is almost totally covered but there can be some difficulties with the connection in rural areas.
If you are staying in France for a while you should better buy a SIM card for your mobile phone so that incoming calls are free. Most service providers supply SIM cards in shops. You are not always asked for an identification to buy one, but you will need to leave your personal details for activation.